|The Hole in Your Heart
Author: scalion PM
Present Day AU. 19-year old Katniss and her 16-year old sister Prim live alone in their house in Appalachia Hill. Her mother was useless and her father died. Katniss struggles to support herself and her sister, the missing part of her heart growing bigger every day. Until she meets the boy who will save her life, little does she know she's saving his too. My 1st chapter story. R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Katniss E. & Peeta M. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 4,399 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 10-16-12 - Published: 08-21-12 - id: 8451478
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Authors Note: Hey there readers! This is my first attempt at a multi-chapter fan fic. AU, no hunger games, a more present day setting I guess. Rated T for language and suggestive scenes! Please take a few minutes to review and tell me what you think. I don't know if I'm completely happy with this chapter, but hopefully my writing will improve as the story continues. Any ideas/comments/critique is much appreciated. Please enjoy :)
The wind tugged my hair, pulling strands out of the already loose braid as I trudged along the cracked sidewalk. You would think for a town that gives so much to it's Capitol, they would at least provide them with a decent surface to walk on. A stronger gust blew around me, causing my arms to wrap around my bare chest, the low V-neck shirt providing no protection from the elements. A short hiss escaped her lips as the chill hit her skin. Two more miles and she'd be home.
I rounded the last corner, the dilapidated shack coming into view. Flecks of the standard white paint that now barely covered the outer walls littered the porch, showing the building's fast decent to becoming one of the many shit heaps of District Twelve. Where I live is actually called Appalachia Hills. As picturesque as the name sounds, this place was in the lowest income decile of the whole state of Panem, decile 12, hence the nickname 'District Twelve'. I kicked off my leather hunting boots on the threshold, pushing the door open with a huff. I was met with two shirtless bodies, one poised hungrily over the other, a large hand gripping the back of the couch.
"Prim what the fuck!" I cried, nearly throwing my rucksack across the room in surprise.
The brown haired head whips up at the sound of my voice. Silver eyes that mirror my own widen with shock, cheeks flushing red-hot. Rory Hawthorne. Rolling her eyes, I retrieved his discarded shirt that peeked out from under the coffee table. "Get outta here kid, tell Gale he took off with half my arrows," Dangling the shirt on an outstretched finger I place the other hand on my hip, making sure that my disapproval is obvious. He shuffles forward and mutters his apology, snagging his shirt as he begins his hasty journey home.
I turn my body back to my sister. Her face is plastered with a sheepish grin, a tuff of golden hair sticking haphazardly out from her head. "I didn't think you were coming home until four," she admits quietly.
"No excuse Prim, you're sixteen." I growl. I can see her frustration rising. An exasperated sigh leaves her body in confirmation. "You know Katniss," her clipped tone bouncing off the walls, "I'm not a kid anymore. Stop treating me like one." She breezes past me to her room, slamming the door in the process. I swear one day that door will crumble to pieces from the abuse it receives from that girl.
Some time later, after I've cooked up the guinea fowl and small amount of vegetables that I was able to afford at the Hob, the local market, for dinner, I try to coax Prim out of her room. She mutters through the door that she isn't hungry. I decide not to push it. Being four years my sister's senior, I knew not to poke at the unpredictable teenage hormones. She'll come around. I seat myself at the head of our small dining table placing the plate in front of me. My fingers ran over the grain of the worn timber, a pang of sadness and longing hitting my chest. This had come from my old family home. My father and I would sit playing cards for hours while a baby Prim sat in her high chair and gurgling as she watched, a tiny, fat hand reaching desperately for anything in reach. Those were easier times. I shook my head slightly as if to shake the memory from my mind and picked up a leg. The tender meat melted in my mouth, the rest gone in a flash.
Leaving my plate where it lay I stand, heading towards my room. The days hunting had drained my energy more than it usually did, indicating that I wasn't eating enough. As I lifted my shirt over my head my fingers brushed over the ridges of my ribs that were now beginning to protrude from my side. They slowed, examining the rise and fall of the skin, a small frown creeping onto my face. Maybe I could hunt more, sell more game to the Hob dealers, or try and raise her prices. Get real, Katniss, she thought. The Hob dealers were of the no nonsense kind. Any change in the regular arrangements and they would cast her off like yesterdays entrails. She'd find a way though. She always did.
I woke with a start the next morning, my body shooting upright as a loud thumping chorused through the house. Sunlight streamed through the window. Shit, Prim would already be at school. She goes to Hills High School, the one I used to attend before I was forced to leave. The thumping continued to nag at what I discovered was the front door. I dragged my half dead body to the entrance of the house, whipping the door open with a disgruntled look. I was met with the smiling silver eyes of my best friend, Gale Hawthorne, his hunting sack slung over his shoulder. His expression turned apologetic when he saw my attire, taking in my too big track pants and tank top, and no doubt my birds nest hair as well. "Hey Catnip," he crooned, the way he always does when he uses that nickname, "you might want step back inside before the townspeople come at you with pitchforks and torches." I smack his arm playfully, trying my best to maintain my displeased expression, but fail miserably. "I thought you might want these." He holds my missing arrows from yesterday. I smile and snatch them off him, motioning for him to follow me into the lounge. I set the arrows down and plop down onto the couch. "You brother was giving Prim a tongue bath yesterday," I taunt, throwing a pillow at him "right on this couch here. Never again Hawthorne. Tell Rory to keep it in his pants." A throaty laugh escapes him and he takes the seat next to me. "Oh I'll make sure of it, I'll put him on gutting duty for a week." he jokes. "But Catnip, seriously, what's up? You're wasting away in front of me." his tone turning solemn.
I sigh heavily, "The money's running out Gale. I'm going to have to double my catch each time I go to the woods if I'm going to keep up with the rising prices. I need bread, or something to serve up for dinner tonight. I have to go out again today." The woods are plagued by packs of wild dogs and bears. Gale and I agreed on no more than two trips a week, it was just too dangerous. His face is grave as I meet his eyes. "Katniss you know you can't. I got more than expected from my snares yesterday, I'll give you one of my squirrels. It won't be worth as much since a day old but hopefully it should get you something." I begin to protest but he raises his hand. He full well knows that I don't like charity. "Remember you fed Rory and Posy that time I went out of town for a few days, you're taking the squirrel okay?" He pulls it from his hunting sack, the meat wrapped tidily in cloth. I place my hand gently on his arm, "Thank you." I say softly. He simply smiles in reply.
"I'd better head off, I promised I'd take Posy to the Meadow today, she wants to take her bloody goat for a walk." he says rolling his eyes, moving towards the door. He turns suddenly, surprising me by pulling me into a bear hug. Being the large man that he is, my face became buried in his ribs, squishing my nose and making it hard to breathe. Gale realises and frees me from his tight embrace, laughing his hearty laugh once more. "Take it easy Catnip!" he yells, making his way back down the road to his house. I shut the door and make my way back to my room, setting the wrapped meat down on my small dresser. I pull my unruly hair back into my signature braid, slip on jeans and a plain blue shirt, and hunt around for my leather boots that I'd discarded yesterday. The walk to the bakery in town was a long one, just over ten miles, but it was the only one around. I'm not fussy, but I can't bear to stomach the grainy grey excuse for bread beyond sold at the Hob, and Prim won't even touch it.
The wind from yesterday has gone completely, so the weather isn't actually to bad. It makes the journey to town much more enjoyable. The closer I got the less grungy and run down my surroundings became. The pavement became less fragmented and the paint actually stayed on the houses. She reached the town square around midday. It was bustling with people, a whole group of school kids gathered around the sweet stall at the back of the square. The high school kids where allowed to go into town to buy and eat their lunch if they didn't have a packed one since the school was too poor for a cafeteria and its not like the Capitol was going to help them out. She crossed the cobbled centre to Mellark's Bakery, the scent of warm bread reaching my nose. My stomach churned in response.
I was greeted by the delicate tinkle of a bell as I entered the shop. My eyes raked over the massive selection of delicious baked items that were presented in front of me. I regarded them with hunger and longing. "Welcome to Mellark's Bakery, what can I get for you?" A deep male voice snaps me out of my trance and I raise my head to the source of the question. My breath hitches in my throat as I'm met with stunning crystal blue eyes, the kind of eyes you imagine could see right into your soul. They shined with such clarity that it caught her off guard. "Um…I-I.." she stammered, his lips lifted into a lopsided grin that made her heart flutter. He looks about the same age as me. I quickly averted my eyes, pretending to contemplate my choice of bread. For fucks sake Katniss, get a hold of yourself, I thought angrily. Hesitantly I lift my head back up to his face. It still held the smile and he waited patiently for her answer.
My hand drifts to my pocket, fiddling with the small amount of coins I had gained from selling the squirrel at the Hob on the way to town. "Um…cheese buns, please." I choked out. How I managed even that small sentence was beyond me, I was mesmerised by the strength of his jaw. "How many?" his smile still evident in his voice.
"Just one" I could only afford one. Eyeing the coins I had now presented on the counter before him, I spy him slip a second bun into the brown bag. I begin to object but my rumbling stomach tells me to keep my mouth shut. He turns around and reaches down for a bag, his muscles straining against his white 'Mellark's Baked Goods' t-shirt. My stomach murmurs again, but not in hunger this time. He collects her coins off the bench top, counting them as he places them in the till. I try to gaze casually out the window. "I'm Peeta, by the way. Peeta Mellark." he says, bringing my attention back to him. His hand is outstretched motioning for me to shake his hand. I bring mine up to his, a small smile playing on my lips. "Katniss Everdeen." I reply. His hand is warm and calloused, but soft at the same time. "Sorry I've got to get back to work, but it was nice to meet you Katniss, have a good day." He gives me a parting smile and disappears behind the bread racks. I hurry out of the bakery, the fresh air clearing my thoughts. Something familiar niggles at the back of my brain but I can't pinpoint what. I've seen the boy with the bread before, but where? I ponder for a few more moments then give up, glancing at the clock on the small Court building at the top of the square. It's almost 2.30pm, so I head towards Hills High, hoping to catch Prim before she leaves and walk home with her.
Holy shit. Katniss Everdeen was just in your shop Mellark. She was more astounding than he remembered. How long has it been? It had been around two years since she randomly stopped showing up for school, this was the first time I'd seen her since. Her beautiful girlish features had morphed into those of a young woman. I glance down to my hand. It's still tingling from when she shook my hand. And electric current shot through my body and I almost melted into her touch. I almost lost myself in her pewter eyes; luckily I caught myself and left before I made myself look like a dick. I bend over and strain to pick up another bag of flour as I recall her smile, my heart pounding in my chest all over again. She had better come back for some more cheese buns.
Sorry, it's a pretty boring and uneventful chapter, I'm just trying to set the scene. Please let me know what you think! Much love :) xo